The Firebrace Letters

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The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 2:55 pm

I came across my collection of most (though probably not all) of the letters I received over the years from Brigadier R.C. Firebrace, founder and editor of Spica, establisher of various astrological organizations, founder of the Moray Series of small-production books on Sidereal astrology that were of enormous help during the first generation (and even today), and co-author with Cyril Fagan of the Primer. He was also a significant figure in world history in his own right, separate from his astrological endeavors.

I thought these might be of interest to convey a feeling of the man and to be full of small astrological tidbits. Almost none of Firebrace's voluminous writings are available since they mostly were contained in Spica, which is long out of print and unavailable. The letters give a feel for the man and repeatedly air some of this most characteristic points of view and the way that unresolved questions rolled through his brain.

I think these letters also show how much for which we use the Internet today was handled by handwritten, physically mailed correspondence back in the day.

Roy Firebrace was born August 16, 1889 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He gave me his birth time at one point as (a time that converts to) 4:45 PM LMT; I think it was originally given as 5:00 PM. The earlier time inches his already-angular Venus a little closer to the angle. I like the 5 PM a little better on theory - Mars is closer to Westpoint for this significant British WW II military figure - but I'm willing to admit he may have known more about his own chart than I :) (and there is plenty of Mars either way). His 0°16' Sun-Saturn conjunction in the first degree of Leo is noteworthy, as is Mars' 0°06' square to an Aries Moon. In London, for the 4:45 PM birth time, he had Uranus 0°41' below Descendant.

He was always gracious to me and supportive of me, and you don't have to read too hard to see him treading delicately on the 16-year-old that one day decided to write him.

Hopefully there will be matters of interest to some of you. Here is his horoscope for the 4:45 PM time.


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April 7, 1971

Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:04 pm

Dear Mr. Eshelman

Thank you for your interesting letter of March 12th which only arrived yesterday. After 40 years in astrology I am beginning to find it very difficult. I think that most astrologers exaggerate badly what they can do in astrology. I have however satisfied my self [sic] with much research that there is a basic truth in astrology. There is much more to be learned as to its limits. Fagan's death was a great loss as it was from him that I got my first ideas of sidereal astrology. I would indeed be interested in an article on the Oktopos [sic]. I have not tried it out myself and am not really a supporter of any particular house system of which there are very many. As far as I know Fagan never divulged how he got his intermediate cusps for his Oktopos. His wife tells me that it will be in his new book which I hope will be published shortly. I have never seen mentioned anything about Placidus in any letter from him. He and Garth did not get on very well after meeting in Tucson but dear Cyril was a bit difficult at the end of his life. I shall have room for an article for the July issue which will go to press early in June so would be glad of your contribution as early as possible. We do all the work here and that takes some doing as I was born in 1889! I shall be very glad to hear from you at any [time] and discuss with you any astrological problems. All good wishes and I hope to hear from you again.

Yours sincerely,
Brigadier R.C. Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:05 pm

Dear James,

I am indeed grateful for your article for Spica which will be included in the next number. I hope to get it all in as I do not like dividing an article into two parts but it is a little long. However, I will do what I can. There are however parts and phrases regarding Cyril which I must cut out as they would cause pain to his surviving wife and relatives. I do not think that that you intended them like this but they do not read well to me.If you agree I will either cut some of the words out or rephrase the paragraph. I refer in particular to the word senility which does appear twice. I cannot regard him as that in any sense. Obstinate, yes if you wish and he did not always agree with Garth Allen or indeed myself but he did during this period finish his book which is still to be published. So I hope you will let me do what I think best about this part of the script. I am glad that you have Garth to help you. He knows more about sidereal astrology than most people.

I am astounded that you are only 16. For such a young age your article and the study which lies behind it is quite remarkable and pleases me immensely. As n old man, approaching 82 it does give me pleasure to know that there are people like you who are beginning to take over. I predict a great future for you in astrology.Needless to say I wish you well in it and all possible success. As a small tribute to you I have marked your Spica card HON so that no future subscriptions will be due. I can also send you free a copy of our Sidereal Calculation Tables which we have just reprinted. Have you got the 1971 Ephemeris sidereal. It is expensive and you may not have it. I will also send you this free if you would like it and have not got it. I have a young grandson who started astrology at 16 but who has not made the progress you have. But his interest is there. He goes up to Oxford in October and is now touring in India. I have been an astrologer for forty years but did not start until I was over forty so you have an advantage over me there. I was converted to the sidereal by Cyril whom I knew well.

My own data are 9:03 p.m. GMT 16.8.89 Halifax Nova Scotia. I draw lunar returns for birthplace which i have found better but I mark the residence angles. Here I disagree with Cyril and Garth I think. But I have no doubts on the point. Other maps I draw for residence such as solar returns. Sometime you should study mid points. I find them of great assistance with all nativities and with return maps.

I shall be glad to hear from you at any time and wish you all success. I hope that you will understand what I have written about altering parts of your article.

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely,
RC Firebrace

JAE NOTE: My use of "senility" was unskilled writing by a 16-year-old. I think I just mean that he was getting old. I think Roy substituted "dotage." BTW the pending Fagan book discussed in some of these letters was Astrological Origins.

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:40 pm

Dear James,

Thank you for your letter. I will make the necessary corrections regarding Fagan. After all during the very last period of his life he completed his new work on Astrological Origins which is yet to appear in America. Irritable he might have been, often people with heart trouble are irritable but not senile. He did not always agree with Garth Allen or myself. I will also alter your octoscope to agree with what you have said in the letter.

As regards mid points and cyclic charts. I use them very much with the solar returns and also sometime with lunar cycles. I find them most useful and once committed a grave error in prediction of an election through disregarding them. But they need using with discretion and I would only accept something shewn by them if it is confirmed in other ways.

I am very busy trying to put the next Spica together and write some things for it myself. All good wishes and success.

Yours sincerely,
RC Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:43 pm

Dear James,

Thank you for your letter of May 1. I have amended your article regarding Fagan and also the bit about changing the sixth house to Health. The whole article will go into the next Spica and is now being stencilled for that purpose. I congratulate you on it as it is good and I enjoyed reading it. It is wonderful at your age to produce such fine work. I shall lok [sic] forward to further work from your pen. I am very busy as I go on short holiday next week and have to get Spica ready before I go.

Yours sincerely,
Brigadier R.C. Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:48 pm

Dear James,

Thank you for your letter. Yes, you may certainly quote anything you like from what I have written about DeGaulle. If you got two Aprils it was a mistake. But if you want more copies of your own article in July you can have as many as you like. You have only to let me know. I hope you get your article taken by American Astrology, it will give you some money which I find is always valuable in these difficult times.

I am convinced that DeGaulle did consider seriously to say the [at?] least that [he?] was the reincarnation of Joan. I must tell you the whole story sometime. I am a believer in some form of reincarnation myself as the only solution to some of my problems of life. But probably it is not quite as simple as some people make out! Nothing is. I am off Monday on ten days holiday in England with my wife and a friend. But I have to do all the driving as they do not drive. But I enjoy driving and and have been driving for 60 years!

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely,
R.C. Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 3:55 pm

Dear James,

Many thanks for your letter. Three copies of Spica are on the way to you and you can have more if you want them. It is a good article and I look forward to more. I will try and find out the place of birth of Ebertin. I cannot remember it offhand. I have never met him although I do know his son Baldur. I have a great respect for midpoints when handled with care, partcularly midpoints with an angle as the midpoint. But I think that Midpoints to angles should be calculated in RA or OA. [JAE Note: I hadn't the slightest recollection he had written that! He is saying they should be calculated mundanely, which is my own conclusion.] I have little doubt on this point. In the next issue you will see a very good map for Etna volcano where this midpoint comes out strongly as it has before.

I am struggling with letters as I have not been too fit. This is clearly shewn in my quarti-solar (which I am now studying and on which I am going to writ an article in Spica, by Sun conj. Saturn on an angle. This has certainly worked well (or badly) in my case.

I am trying to clear my desk before going to France on 9th July fr some sun or any rate I hope for some.

All good wishes,

Yours sincerely,
RC Firebrace


JAE NOTE: There was an important Mount Etna eruption in 1971, but I can't currently find the time and don't know what time/date etc. he was using for it. I'm sure it was in Spica the next issue. His reference to his Quarti-Solar would have been his May 16, 1971 Quarti with a partile Sun-Saturn conjunction (similar to and squaring his natal Sun-Saturn conjunction) near Descendant in London.

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Fri May 31, 2019 4:09 pm

Dear Jim,

I have to thank you for various letters which have arrived since my departure on holiday and found waiting for me when I returned very fit and well after a fortnight in the sun doing nothing. With them unfortunately were many others with which I am struggling to compete [sic] and at the same time begin to think of the next Spica.

By separate mail I am sending you a letter from a Mr Malenke who writes that he was very interested in your article. You are well on your way to success in your astrological work. As an old man I must say that I am very impressed with your mature mind. Now to take up some of the points you have made. Birthplace or location for lunars. I have no doubt now that from my own work that birthplace is better. And I was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia with a time difference of 4h15m. All correspondents with one exception agree with me. Cyril Fagan did not and used to send lunars to me. On redrawing for birthplace they were all better but he was not convinced. So you have him on your side. I have just turned up my original experiment with birth or location for lunars and find that I arrived at the following results I used 25 maps where there was a big time difference. Allowing a possible 5 marks for each map my results shewed the birthplace 92 marks and average o 3.7 and for location 20 an average of 0.8. Since then I have done many others for myself and others and still maintain the superiority of birthplace. But I always for study mark the location angles and I would advise you to do the same. For solar returns and other maps I found that location gave better results. Here there may be a mystery. Are they both valid but from different point of view. It is possible and I would and do myself keep this in mind.

I did send you two extra copies of the last Spica but they may have gone astray and I am sending you 2 others. You can have more if you like.

I am glad that you have heard from X.Y. it may lead to work for you. I am still working on quarti solars and still find them effective. Whether they extend to Mrs Littlejohn's monthly solar return or not I am uncertain. I have had some good maps gut at present to not think that they are very reliable I wish I had more time to do research. I cannot comment on the Dodecatoria (badly spelled) and doubt that I shall have time to look at them. The Hindus do use something very similar and consider them highly. If I said that Mars is weak in Capricorn I undoubtedly slipped up. It is o course exalted as you say. One does make a fool of oneself at times.

I will make the correction to your article in the next number. I am sorry that it occurred but I am afraid that these things do happen. I have not yet tried out the 3deg 56sec Moon increase partly because I did not like the sound of it and I cannot do everything I would like to do. There should be a method of progressing lunars but I have not found it. I may get down to it. Actually I use progressions very little. I may be wrong but with a PSSR a planet can be angular 5 times during the year. As regards contacts between maps the limited work I have done on the Novien has shewed me that these maps are remarkable for shewing up relationships. Try this with mine as I think there should undoubtedly be some relationship. It could be Saturnian for a serious contact.

I will look for a sidereal Campanus tables [Reference to Sidereal Calculation Tables compiled by Mary Austin, which he had offered to send - JAE] I am nearly sure that I sent them to you and rather doubt that I have a further copy. But if I have I will send it. I shall have to order Stahl's book on Vulcan and will send you Wars in Sidereal I think I have some left.

Now I think that in this lightning review I have covered the main points and I must get down to the other letters awaiting me. I am always glad to hear from you and to hear of your thoughts.

Yours very sincerely,
RC Firebrace
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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:17 am

Dear Jim,

I wrote you the other day but do not seem to have answered your letter of July 3rd. I have been simply struggling to compete with letters since I got back from my holiday and am still behind. I have Spica to prepare too. I am always interested in what you say. I will try and get the place of Ebertin's birth if I can which I think I can do. Dennis Elwell shews no keenness to give away his map but I will see what I can do for you. I admire his writings. I shall be interested in an article from you on the Novien. My experience with it is slight but what I have done is impressive especially for synastry. Your mention of the hypsomatic Mars station in reference to my map reminds me that on the way to Dover, although I was not driving, I had a car crash. Car damaged but I was not hurt.

I am sceptical about a map for Jesus. It seems to doubtful whether we was actually born in Dec. Most people doubt that date and put the birth nearer September. But no one really knows. I would like to see your article on this for interest but do not guarantee that I would publish it. But I certainly might do so.

Forgive short letter but I am really struggling.

Yours sincerely,
RC Firebrace

P.S. Mary Austin was born in Bournemouth on Feb. 27, 1914 as you said and bout 3.39 p.m. GMT. The map is not accurately rectified. I am publishing an article by Alexander Marr on rectification. He uses topocentric house for this. You will see it in the next Spica.

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:29 am

Dear Jim,

I have several letters to thank you for but I have been very hard pressed with getting out the next Spica which went off two days ago. I enjoy your letters and the maps you sent with them. Now, a word of advice. You must learn to write shorter. In particular I refer to your article on the birth of Christ. It is too long and I never like splitting an article. Your article which appeared in Spica was also too long but that time I gave way and did print it at full length. Long articles do not hold the reader's interest anyway they are not possible for a journal like Spica nor for Mrs Clancy either. So try and be more concise. It can be done with practice. I am keeping your Christ article for a bit longer as I want to read it again. You probably have another copy. There have been all sorts of conjectures about the birth of Jesus and few if any people have agreed on the possibility of a Christmas birth. But no one really knows. People go back as far as 4 BC and many try and fit in as the star in the East the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter which took place about that time, I have forgotten the exact date. I have given your name to Henry Weingarten who publishes the Aquarian Age astrological magazine and would possibly pay for an article. I think that he will get in touch with you or you could write to him.Forgive short letter but I am still very busy and get a bit more tired than I used to but am carrying on well. You will see a sketch of me in the new Spica which was dawn by a man in a cafe in France. It is very good, or so my friends say.

All good wishes to you for your success. You have made a very good beginning.

Yours sincerely,
RC Firebrace

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My life in September 1971

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:48 am

The month of that last letter, I had just begun my junior year of high school. I think I'd wrangled my way into journalism class the semester before (but another memory suggests I did that by showing my first article in American Astrology, which was in the July 1971 issue roughly the same time as the Octoscope article in Spica. It cost a fair bit to send mail to London from Indiana in those days, and it seems I was flooding Roy with mail, just as I was Donald (and another major correspondence, always with long and data-detailed letters, from Ferde Malenke in Pennsylvania). So I guess what little money I had in my pocket at 16 was going to postage!

Progressed Mercury was almost to the minute atop my Saturn about this time, and, with the retrospective I just typed, I think that meant the honing - the structuring, disciplining, and criticism - of my way of writing. (It certainly didn't mean short or few writings, or lack of support or encouragement.) One of my secondary reasons for present these letters BTW is to remind everyone starting out in astrology and in writing that we all start young and inexperienced and make mistakes. (Not that we ever stop making mistakes :).)

Firebrace's address, and the address of the Spica offices (same thing) was 28 Clarence Gate Gardens, London, N.W. 1, 6BA. You might enjoy pulling this up on Google Maps or Google Earth, though I'm not sure what building it way. Today, a web search produces a big health club at that address. Google Maps in satellite view seems to suggest it is the building right at one corner of the driveway circle, but I'm not sure.

Anyway, things slowed down a little. I had begun writing in various places and, after all this fast-and-furious, it was two months before I heard from him again. The next letter was written on a day transiting Mercury and Venus conjoined square my Moon, and probably got to me about the time they crossed my IC.
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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:09 am

Dear Jim,

I enjoy getting your letters although I have not always the time to answer them as I am heavily involved with a mass of correspondence and have also been getting the next Spica ready for publication. So I know that you will forgive me and understand. I will also admit that I get a bit more tired than I used to which does not help. However I am really pretty fit and carrying on and determined to do so. I was glad to see what you look like from the photos you sent. You will have seen me as i am in the last Spica.

I am not over keen on the Littlejohn SMR's when they do not coincide with the quarterly Sun's return. These quarterly I am continuing to study as the ones I have done are very good indeed. I have done some Littlejohn intermediate maps and some have been bad and some very good. The preeminence of the quarterly returns is probably due to their being based on the powerful square aspect whilst the other Littlejohn are based on the far weaker trine and other aspects. As Alexander Marr had condemned her SMR's I thought that I had to give her the right to answer as in the last issue and she has done so. Then I shall leave it to the opinion of readers who wish to work on it. The map you send is certainly bad and I may publish but not in the next issue which is already overfull. Alexander Marr's article on how to do it all has been postponed but will appear in due course. He makes out a good case for topocentric cusps by his close aspects to house cusps. On the question of houses I am undecided after these many years of study. To me it is unresolved as not enough work has been done on it. There are very many different systems (some say 54!) of house division and I use them very little. I have found that the most powerful effects are when planets are conj opp. or in close aspect to the angles. And I take these angles and planets in RA or OA. Marr does not agree but I feel pretty certain about it. You will have seen some examples of this in Spica. Notably in the Italian earthquake. I have a certain respect for Koch's birthplace houses (GOH) as for the first time he uses the birthplace latitude for calculating the house cusps instead of a fictitious latitude which is used in other systems. Frau [Edith] Wangemann in a German Magazine Sein und Werden has done some impressive work on GOH. Do you read German or not? In studying a house system I look for transits to cusps for secondary or primary aspects to cusps and I rarely find these. I did find some when I wrote about Koch's system some years ago. If you are interested in Topocentric I could send you or loan a collection of Nelson Page's articles which I made from Spica. The copies of Spic containing them are no longer available. I could also let you have a copy of Koch's Table o houses for all latitudes. One fault which I have found to be present in all house systems other than Equal House is that the maps for [far] northern latitudes are so distorted as to be unworkable. I cannot see why this should be so. With Archangel and Murmansk with millions of inhabitants should need a special method I cannot understand. They are ordinary folk. People including Koch use a different method for these latitudes. Koch uses the Vertex instead of the Asc. But why? No one has given me the answer to that. With ordinary Topos you can get Sagittarius on the cusp of no less than five houses! So the matter remains a mystery to me. would like to have houses as it amplifies the information you can give but do they exist? That is my problem and incidentally I reject house rulers altogether. With Campanus you can get triple intersection even in England! The problem has not been solved. If you adopt Equal House (on which I was started in Astrology) you can choose between from Asc or from MC either in long. or in R.A. Perhaps it will be given to you to solve this problem.

I know I have not covered all your points but have done my best at a very busy time. But then all my time is fully occupied I am afraid. But do write again. I would welcome your thoughts on any problem for Spica but it must be shortened from your usual! Maximum 5-6 pages of text of Spica and two pages of maps. Spica is not adapted for longer articles than this. Meanwhile all good wishes for your success which is sure to come. You have all the makings of a first class astrologer.

RC Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:19 am

Dear Jim,

i do not know what happened to your letter of Dec. 14th as it only arrived yesterday. Fortunate for me in a way as I have been laid up with singles since the beginning of Dec. but have started to work again although my brain feels like cotton wool.

I have found your letter with the two articles most interesting. I hope to get one of them in the next issue of Spica. Probably the other in the following issue. I also hope to get in sometime your notes on Mayan astrology. I found that very interesting and a good contribution to knowledge. How you manage to do all this work and your ordinary work too I cannot imagine. But all praise to you.

Since I have been in bed and resting at home I have been doing preliminary work on the Yoga Return of Kharegat which you will have seen in the Jan Spica. So far the results have been good indeed in some cases very good. Normally I have found that they are better for birthplace but occasionally I have found that the map for residence does add something to the birthplace map. Here is an unresolved mystery. There will probably be an article on it by me in the next number. I have a doctor friend who is interested in the theories of Jonas. He is even thinking of using it in his practice!

I doubt that you get an answer out of Mrs Fagan. She has given up all interest in astrology and does not even answer my letters. I have not yet seen a copy of Astrological Origins nor of the Primer which has been republished by Littlejohn's. All this probably due to your dock strike.

I am lecturing next month on Problems of Astrology which will include house division. I must at the present time consider this as unproven. In my time I have used many but proved none. I try and remain open minded on this subject including the Octopos [sic] but have not finally made up my mind on any one. Much more work is required to my mind.

Although I accept the theory of midpoints fully I am not happy with all the delineations of Ebertin. But I use them as general guide. In my natal chart I have Sun = Jupiter/Uranus and I think that this fits me. I am testing out his theory that the mid point of Sun and Moon is the marriage point. In my case it is opposite Jupiter and I have been married 56 years, In another case which ended in divorce Uranus = Sun/Moon.

I have so many letters which have accumulated that I must stop with all good wishes for your future work and congratulations on what you have done.

Yours,
RC Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 11:41 am

Dear Jim,

Many thanks for your interesting letter. I enjoy it when you disagree with me! After years of study I am beginning to realise how little I know.

Sorry you are not happy about my Venus. I have found the word relationship very useful with Venus. Venus alone is good s you say but an afflicted Venus can and is often bad and works in the field of relationships. I find it a little difficult to think of a Taurean Venus as art but it is in some form or other. Indeed Taurus itself can be artistic. My son in law who spends his whole life in the arts has Sun Taurus but on my questioning him he agreed that he liked best the ore solid form of art such as landscapes. Very Taurean I think.

I am not yet converted to the Oktopos [sic]. I do not like the look of my own in Oktoscope form. [JAE NOTE: Updating this with modern calculations, he would have Jupiter in the 1st watch; Uranus in the 3rd; Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn in the 4th; Venus within a degree of Descendant is in the 4th watch ecliptically and 5th watch mundanely; Neptune & Pluto in 6th watch; Moon just east of IC technically in the 6th watch.] Nor that of my son who normally would have 4 planets in 12th and is a remarkably 12th house type. In fact it is my standard joke with him as he understands that much about astrology. Frankly I do not know what house system to adopt. In judging them it must be aspects to cusps which count and I have not done real work on this. Marr favors Topocentrics and has done a lot of work on these. Your remarks about houses and analogy is fair enough. I am not committed to these. Of course in the Oktopos this can not apply. Of course I agree that in Egyptian astrology Libra roe and that destroys any analogy with the 7th.

As far as I have gone I have found the Yoga Return good indeed very good. You will have seen my article in the April number. They are not difficult to calculate once you have got the hang of them. I am afraid but not certain that the demi must also be calculated for accuracy. I pulled up Kharegat for stressing planets in cadent houses but he has not answered that! Angles are the strong points and in cyclic maps it is the angles which count. Together with aspects to angular planets (on either side of the angles. I find the East Point important within narrow orbs. Contact with angles must be in RA or OA. This makes a lot of difference with Pluto. Particularly when descending. I followed up Bradley's statistical work with my own. I got the same results remarkably close for clergymen then did 7000 odd doctors. Always in favor of the sidereal. Indeed in the last Doctors effort the tropical was well below chance figures.

Have a look sometime at the Boyd map for USA for the declaration of war. Tests by me have proved good better than others I have made. She is shortly publishing a book on the subject. It is timed for the declaration of war with Great Britain.

I have not got Mrs. Herbert Holm's address. I cannot find her letter and curiously enough she does not seem to be a subscriber to Spica.

I will have a look at the Chad situation when I study the July Ingress. Also Lunar ingresses for this period. These can be very good.

I am not entirely happy with Ebertin interpretations of mid points. I have not tried the Uranian. I am too old for hypothetical planets. I have enough trouble with the proven ones.

Kharegat would presumably have rights in his tables. He is a very friendly man and would I am sure give you permission. Address (mention my name) [KM Kharegat's mailing address in Bombay].

James Hynes' address is [address in Dublin given].

Now I must get down to other letters. I have just got one of 6 foolscap pages and that takes some answering.

Yours,
Roy Firebrace

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:33 pm

Dear Jim,

Many thanks for your interesting letter. And especially for offering to help with research. I will put a proposal up to you shortly for your approval.

Some comments. Agree about April 14th. Put it in really as a joke.

I too am not happy about Hitler. But some maps that I did on him for a lecture in German in Hamburg were good with the standard time. Since then I haven't looked at it but would like a Virgo Asc. But at present I would say that if topo cusps work for primaries they must be the correct cusps. But I am not yet convinced. I want some time to look at secondaries to an accurate map such as the 1801 for Great Britain. Mars approaches the 8th cusp. When it hits it in one system there should be an event. I have always wanted to do this but have not got down to it. I shall eventually try it with some 3 or so of the better house systems.

I cannot agree with calculating planets to angles in Zodiaco.
'
Yogas I have found generally very good as far as I have gone. In one case a demi Yoga was most impressive and may be important. You will see this in Spica eventually.

It is Kharegat who attaches importance to the A/M point [Asc/MC midpoint - JAE]. I do not.

You have caught me out on the Ingress. It is Washington and not Moscow which is incorrect. The angles should be 0 Libra and 8 Sag. A bad mistake I must have had the brain wandering. Mercury sq. Neptune!

I do not think we are far apart on Venus. I agree that the charts shew the psychology of the individual especially in lunars based on the Moon. Although I do use birthplace for these as undoubtedly better I do mark residence angles and sometimes but not often I have found them useful. I have been trying out regressed lunars as Marr does. In a recent case of an accident the regressed lunar for 1868 gave Mars exactly conj Uranus exact on Asc. and Sun exactly on cusp 4. The trouble is the old ephemerides. I go back to 1807!

I remain doubtful that Venus is the planet of peace. I stick to relationships! The examples you gave seem to shew this. Am having trouble with my ribbon. [The typewriter ribbon. Several lines of the letter had the top half of the line cut off, apparently from a linen ribbon fold-under. - JAE]

Lyndoe coild be a good astrologer but writes cheap stuff to make money. Sidereally he is Sun Virgo, I will give you his map in confidence sometime. He is not well and I think semi retired. He is well off apart from astrology. I know him well but have not seen him for sometime.

Must stop and work.

Yours ever,
Roy

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June 8, 1972

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:00 pm

Dear Jim,

I have to thank you for a letter and an excellent article on the Boyd USA map. It was quite impressive. I have been unable to get it in the July number but it will appear in October, suitably before your elections. As regards these I take the 9:30 time for Nixon which has given good results. [A birth certificate eventually confirmed 9:30 PM. - JAE] I have a reliable time direct from McGovern confirmed by other sources. Born July 19, 1922 Avon S Dakota, 98W01 Long 43N02 Lat. Time 3.30 a.m. or 2.45.56 AM L.M.T. This would make GMT 9.30 a.m. [McGovern also made a public statement of 3:00 AM, and American Astrology quoted someone ostensibly close to him for 2;30. I think I used 3:00 throughout that election cycle. - JAE] I have not yet put up the map. He looks like being the Democratic candidate. All my astrological friends seem to be staunch republicans. What are you? I do not really like any politicians! Yours or ours.

Have a good look on the long article on the Aquarian age which I am printing in the next number which i am just getting ready for printing. It is interesting and written by a good mathematician. So far I do not really understand his correction so let me know what you think when you get it. It has interest and some evidence for an earlier date.

Am up to the eyes with Spica and other things including very sick brother and sister. But I myself am well and carrying on.

I will try and write again soon when Spica is out. Then I have a weeks holiday in Derbyshire with my wife and a friend. I do all the driving which will be strenuous.

All good wishes,

Yours,
Roy

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:40 pm

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your letter received on 26th June when I was away. Had a very good trip motoring some 600 miles without trouble. Weather not too good but some sun. A very beautiful bit of country in Derbyshire.

First to tackle the McGovern Time. I have got Doane. The state of S Dakota divides between MST and CST on an approximate line of 100W22 with one or two exceptions including Pierre Mackenzie Mobridge Murdo. In general the Eastern Half is CST. Now as to war time, Doane says 1920 to 1941 NOT observed. So I think no correction from CST and that your map with Gemini rising is correct. [Modern references confirm Avon, SD as CST on McGovern's birth date. - JAE]

I have started working on the Nixon map for Nov. I have not yet touched McGovern as he has not yet got the nomination. I have not tried the prenatal Cyclic maps as I have not got the ephemeris. I will gladly print an article on the election as it will be supplementary to mine on the same subject. But please, Jim, keep it as short as possible as I am going to be hard pressed for space. I have several articles waiting which I must try and get in. Including of course your own which will defer till Jan.

I will defer judgement on your statement that the Democrat will win until I have finished with Nixon. As far as I have gone I rather favour Nixon but have not come to a definite conclusion. This I do on a number of maps. It looks like McGovern for the Dem. nomination but I will wait until 9th July. I am getting a lunar done for that event as it will be some test of the accuracy of his birth map. A regards research I have two ideas at least in mind. One is testing the accuracy and value and ord [orb?] of Secondary Progressions both progressed and regressed. To that might be added or done as a special work the value of Solar Arc directions or similar symbolic measures. The second is the value of regressed cyclic maps and of regressed transits. I have picked these as two problems which are of interest and importance to astrology but really I think that most problems in astrology need re-assessing. But that is to be pessimistic. We must try and find proof of one method at a time. I leave you to judge what you would like to take on. Just let me know and I will cooperate. For instance with my own map. I have not got a map for [George] Wallace and have therefore not been able to check up on the shooting.

As you have not got Doane I will always heck up for you any doubtful time.

All the best,

Yours,
Roy

Many thanks for your interesting tables for early SVP. I may reproduce them later.

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Dear Jim,

Many thanks for your letter and article on the election. I too have a feeling that McG's map is wrong and I do not therefore feel happy about using it. I am getting some conflicting results I will admit. But Nixon's solar return just before inauguration does have Sun tight conj Jupiter although not angular. I have not come to a definite conclusion yet but at the moment favour Nixon. I must allow for personal prejudice as I prefer Nixon! I am having some difficulty in making up my mind. It may be very close. In McG's maps for 3.30 time the Mars Uranus conj in Nov. does come angular which looks violent. Or merely a terrific struggle. There is also another problem. Some lunars for Nixon are very good for Washington but not so good for birthplace! I normally draw for birthplace but do mark residence angles. So I am a bit muddled but will make up my mind. If I had to today it would be Nixon. I have also done regressed solars and Lunars. Reg. Solar looks good for Nixon with Sun and Jupiter angular. Well we will see on Nov 7th. Have a look at Inauguration maps. I am off on holiday to France on 11th and back on 25th Aug. Hope for sun and air and lazing on the beach.

Yours
Roy

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:45 pm

Dear Jim,

I have just finished Spica and we are all exhausted! I had a lot of trouble with your maps. My machine will not make a stencil from the light blue ink that you use. And I have no forms to use for the Oktopos [sic]. Hence one map to my regret is not too good. However it is legible if not tidy. The other I copied over with a B pencil and it came out well. In future if you could draw them either in China black or with a B pencil I can photograph direct. That would help me a lot.

I have come out in favour of Nixon. He does have Sun conj Jupiter in his Jan solar although with Saturn on IC. Murakami is also for Nixon. Well, we will see who is right. McG for your 3 a.m. timing does have Saturn in Desc in a lunar near the day.

Another small point but I know that you will wish to be correct. In an article in Aquarian Agent you refer to me as Mr Firebrace. This is incorrect and reads strangely to English eyes. It should be 'Brigadier Firebrace'. Brigadier is a rank equivalent to your Brigadier General. I can assure you that I personally do not mind!

If I remember rightly I have an article from you which you told me to hold over. Is that alright for the next issue or would you care to substitute something else? Just let me know.

I a handicapped at the moment by the fact that a drunk in the middle of the night drove into my parked car and smashed it! So I am without a car and with my bad leg I cannot use busses. However I hope to get it back today.

All good wishes

Yours,
Roy

[I remember that I was forced to admit to him that Mercury and Saturn in paran on the angles of his SLR three days earlier - for Halifax! - was better than the Venus-setting SLR in London. - JAE]

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My life in September 1972

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:46 pm

At this point, I had just begun my senior year of high school. Things were accelerating in different directions, including that I was working a bit with a congressional candidate and boosting McGovern wherever I could. I must not have written him in advance of the January Spica months later, because I didn't hear from him until February.
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February 13, 1973

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:47 pm

Dear Jim,

Thank you for your letter. I have sent your letter on to Dr. Millard. I have not had any article from you it must have gone astray. I would very much like one for the next number.

I am overwhelmed with work and fighting to keep going. Mary Austin my partner has had an operation and is now away recuperating in Jamaica. So a lot of extra work falls on me. Hence I will not answer your letter in full but will do so as soon as possible. There will be an operation article for Mary in next Spica. In lunar she has Mars conj Neptune in Scorpio exactly rising. The operation was for thyroid, which I would have thought was more Taurus. But you will see the article later and can comment. I also drew the Anlunar and found Jupiter the preserver on MC which cheered me up. The Katarche showed Mars Neptune exactly on IC.

I have at least thirty letters to answer.

All good wishes,

Yours
Roy

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Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:47 pm

Dear Jim,

I am grateful to you and Damon Xavier [I pen-name I thought I should start using since I didn't know where my adult life would take me - JAE] for your article on LBJ. It shall go in the next number which may be rather late as Mary Austin has had an operation and is now in Jamaica recuperating and then goes to the United States. However some time or other it will come out. I might include the two maps natal and Lunar which I already have drawn but they will have to be in topocentric cusps as I cannot draw and do not favour your oktopos But I have not really studied it so I may be wrong. I am glad that you comment on the East Point I am a firm believer in it and therefore on the mundane rising and culminating of the planets.

This letter must be short as I am overwhelmed.

Yours ever,
Roy

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End of the series

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Jun 01, 2019 2:58 pm

That's the last letter in the collection I have. I think there were a few more but not many.

In May 1973 I graduated high school and immediately moved out of town to work for the summer and then on to college. The last short letter was addressed to me in Rochester, so I'm not quite sure when I got, probably within a month after it was sent. My address changed rapidly as I was working different sites in Lafayette, then had a temporary address or two before moving into my fraternity on campus in the fall, and then was very involved with college life, meeting the woman I married the following year, and all sorts of predictable stuff in a suddenly expanded, fascinating environment at DePauw.

I was a terrible corespondent during all this time and, while there may have been a bit more, I didn't keep in touch well. I did recently find in storage a copy of Spica that had my research report on Converse Lunar Returns that he had requested, published in the fall of 1973. In any case, I may not have connected with Roy again during the whole last year of his life.

Brigadier R.C. Firebrace, Commander of the British Empire, head the British Military Mission in Moscow in World War II, Russian interpreter for Winston Churchill at Potsdam and Yalta, co-founder (with John Addey) and first president of the eminent Astrological Guild of Great Britain, pioneer of Sidereal Astrology and creator, editor, and primary contributor to the respected journal Spica, died November 19, 1974, 10:30 AM GMT in London at the age of 85.

Image

A further article on him of some interest:
https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/en ... -1889-1974

This strange piece from the Sunday Telegraph last October uses him in a humorous way as a British stereotype:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... ApLSlCiWTg

Here he is mentioned in Nikolai Tolstoy's historic works with more detail than astrologers have bothered to note:
https://books.google.com/books?id=YYUVA ... ce&f=false

Here is a film clip of the Russian Military Mission visiting Normandy Beach. You get about a one-second glimpse of the Brig (who headed the mission) climbing into a jeep in the last second of the clip:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q ... chxQXG_cVL

Here is an article on his daughter Margot's place in history:
https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/marg ... -5mzxqm3t0
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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by SteveS » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:53 am

Firebrace wrote:
As regards mid points and cyclic charts. I use them very much with the solar returns and also sometime with lunar cycles. I find them most useful and once committed a grave error in prediction of an election through disregarding them. But they need using with discretion and I would only accept something shewn by them if it is confirmed in other ways. I have a great respect for midpoints when handled with care, particularly midpoints with an angle as the midpoint.
I never will forget Matthew telling me Sidereal Astrologers are making a mistake by not using direct midpoints to the SSR MC, when present. I will try to find an excellent example of this with a good friend which absolutely played a major role in one of his solar years--in order to open-up a possible discussion on RC'c above quoted words.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:02 am

Keep in mind that Firebrace insisted these had to be calculated mundanely. Some of his statements above essentially denounce ecliptical midpoints to angles. Also, please note he makes no distinction between direct and indirect midpoints.

This, of course, doesn't mean he was right on any of this; but I want to be clear about what he was recommending.
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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by SteveS » Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:33 pm

Jim wrote:
Keep in mind that Firebrace insisted these had to be calculated mundanely. Some of his statements above essentially denounce ecliptical midpoints to angles. Also, please note he makes no distinction between direct and indirect midpoints. This, of course, doesn't mean he was right on any of this; but I want to be clear about what he was recommending.
I understand Jim. I have never put any kind of Midpoint to the SSR MC to an actual test. I will try to accumulate all the Prez election winners with A, AA, rated charts, checking any kind of midpoint to their SSR MC during election years, for a trial test.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:46 pm

Steve, I suggest you accept "B" rated data as well. B data is well-supported, and usually very close to correct within 15 minutes or so. Not always, but usually.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by SteveS » Tue Jun 04, 2019 1:57 pm

Jupe wrote:
Steve, I suggest you accept "B" rated data as well.
Will do Jupe, thanks.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Arena » Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:06 pm

Interesting read and interesting that this military man was also into astrology. It's a shame that astrology has been so ridiculed in the recent decades.
People including Koch use a different method for these latitudes. Koch uses the Vertex instead of the Asc.
Interesting mention of the Vx in light of what I've been pointing out with high latitudes. Also his mention on the EP which is also very important.

The midpoint emphasis and his view on lunar returns to birth place is also interesting.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by SteveS » Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:14 am

I was going to do an analysis on election years for winning Presidents pertaining to RC Firebrace observation about mundo midpoints with SSR MC being important, but have decided correct critical data is too difficult to obtain. First and foremost, there is small % of knowing where a candidate is located on his new SSR during an election solar year.

I PM Phillip Graves two days ago with questions about the possibility for obtaining past Spica issues but have not heard back from him. Will post as soon as I hear from Phillip.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by astrovedas » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:32 am

Very interesting correspondence, thanks for posting. Do you happen to know any details of the Brigadier's relationship with the Astrological Association of Great Britain? Formed in 1958, I understand the AA GB had a rupture early in its existence over the sidereal-tropical issue.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:35 am

That's pretty much my understanding, but I wouldn't say the organization ruptured. He co-founded the association and eventually found lack of acceptance of his work on Sidereal and he left the organization. I don't know any fine points.
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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by astrovedas » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:32 pm

Thanks. Shame he left, it seems like a missed opportunity for a new organization formed at the time of the sidereal revival. With more open-minded people on board, UK astrology might look quite different today. Presently hard to imagine any big astrology group having a Siderealist anywhere near the top, fwiw.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:15 pm

astrovedas wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:32 pm
Presently hard to imagine any big astrology group having a Siderealist anywhere near the top, fwiw.
I was president of ISAR for two terms.
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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by astrovedas » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:36 pm

Oh, maybe I'm just thinking UK, but who knows. Did you notice any movement towards Sidereal in your time in ISAR, and do you think SZ stands any chance of becoming more popular?
Last edited by astrovedas on Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:23 pm

No movement at all from it.

As for popular, that depends on what you mean. I no longer pay attention to the public's view since astrology is for the astrologer, not the public. Within the professional astrological community, one would hope that within a century or two, based on engaging people newly entering astrology rather than trying to change the minds of people already invested, we might make the flip. However, this depends on the activism of the tiny group presently favoring Sidereal astrology and its responsible, informed, practical survival from generation to generation along the way.
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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jupiter Sets at Dawn » Wed Oct 16, 2019 7:10 pm

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:23 pm
However, this depends on the activism of the tiny group presently favoring Sidereal astrology and its responsible, informed, practical survival from generation to generation along the way.
That group is being undermined by the Hindu-Indian-Vedic group who are being taught they are also using a sidereal zodiac, and there is some question as to which zodiac is "correct."

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Re: The Firebrace Letters

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:56 pm

Agreed.
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